We have a diverse selection of workshops this year, including more workshops that emphasize the strumming and picking hand and a few classes for baritone ukes, as well as bari-strung tenors and tenor guitars. I encourage you to investigate them and branch out in your musical pursuits!
Workshop Descriptions (in order of instructors' first names)
Acting Through Singing with Alissa Honeycutt
A Song Interpretation Masterclass. Alissa is a professional Muppets-level puppeteer with a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She has a huge bag of "performing tricks of the trade" to share. In this class you’ll get to the core of what you're trying to communicate in your song, and learn to say it as authentically as possible. Playing the scenario of the moment has the added benefit of actually releasing your vocal instrument. * If you've ever wanted to sing at an open mic but were too afraid, this is how to calm your nerves. * If you're a seasoned performer, this method will take your material to the next level. * If you just love to sit on the couch and sing, your songs will mean so much more to you. Come as a participant with a song to share, or support and learn by watching others work. Participants will sing through the song, then work with Alissa to get to the heart of the meaning (what's happening, who you're talking to, what you want), then perform again with all that in mind. The transformation is remarkable!
Intro to UBass with Dani Joy
Using Roots, 5ths, and the 12 Bar Blues, launch your journey into the rhythm section of the ukulele world!
Jamming 101 with Dani Joy
Every time you jam with others there are benefits to be gained and pitfalls to avoid. Tackle them all with Dani Joy.
Jazz Strums with Dani Joy - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Dani leads you through several widely used rhythm patterns derived from the jazz world but useful everywhere.
La Vie en Rose with Dani Joy- Download Handout Bottom of Page
Learn to play this classic melody with a few specific embellishments that bring out its true beauty.
uBass Uke Duet Class with Dani Joy & Perry- Download Handout Bottom of Page
Whether you play uke, uBass, or both, this class will widen your horizons in how to get the most from the collaboration of the two instruments.
Between the Sky and Prairie with Daniel Ho- Download Handout Bottom of Page
Learn this intricate original melody from Daniel's world-music album of the same name. Some of the runs are a bit complex, but it's a slower song that is accessible to most intermediate players.
Hands-On Percussion Jam with Daniel Ho
Using the ukulele, the Shakerlele, and the Bongolele, join Daniel for a rollicking good time that will improve your rhythmic instincts. Everyone is welcome!
The Spam Strum with Daniel Ho- Download Handout Bottom of Page
Learn the bluegrass-inspired rhythm of Daniel's "The Spam Song," made up of deceivingly complex beats. As a side benefit, this class will also equip you to play a record perfect version of IZ's, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Arpeggio Meditations with Daniel Ward- Download Handout Bottom of Page
A terrifically popular class where a repeating finger-picking pattern is used to create a calming path to both ukulele improvement and a zen state of mind. This class is a must before embarking on the next two versions of this beautiful discipline.
Advanced Arpeggio Meditations with Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
More intricate patterns and chord positions as a follow-up to the introductory class.
Latin Arpeggio Meditations with Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Daniel adds a latin-flavor to the Arpeggios, derived from his background as a terrific flamenco guitarist. Definitely a challenge but also a very pleasant one!
Intro to Bluegrass with Dennis Fisher - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Start programming basic banjo-rolls into your ukulele brain while playing "Worried Man." The ukulele's standard high-g tuning lends itself well to playing traditional bluegrass banjo tunes.
Intermediate Bluegrass with Dennis Fisher - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Add movable shapes and, if time permits, a few left-hand techniques to your banjo emulating pursuits while learning the classic bluegrass tune, "Blackberry Blossom."
Intro to Ragtime with Dennis Fisher - Download Handout Bottom of Page
In this bonus class you'll learn the basics to playing Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on a ukulele!
Wiring Your Brain for Rhythm with Douglas Reynolds
For the true beginner. Your strumming hand is vitally important! Merely knowing where to place your fingers on the fretboard will not enable you to make music and will result in a less than satisfying experience. This class offers techniques and exercises that will enable your brain to build the proper neural pathways so that you can find and keep the beat to any song and begin mastery of strumming patterns.
Wiring Your Brain for Fretting with Douglas Reynolds
For the true beginner. It's the other half of the equation. Anyone can look at dots on a page and know where to put their fingers. But knowing how to put them in the proper positions without innocently creating roadblocks to your own success is a must. You'll also embark on the journey to playing without staring at your ukulele's neck all the time!
Everything "A Dom" Blues with Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
The A-Dominant 12-bar blues puts your fingers in the ukulele blues box, so you can learn to comp, solo, and improvise your own lyrics!
Feliz Kalikimaka with Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
(Because Christmas is just around the corner) Challenge yourself to sing in several other languages or just enjoy the English versions.
Conquering Stage Fright with Heidi Swedberg - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Heidi's entire career has been in spent front of audiences and cameras. Whether you get nervous singing in front of the dog, on open mic stages, or have an upcoming gig in front of thousands, there's more to it than just imagining your audience naked. And much of it is great fun!
Lullabies Around the World with Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Just what the title implies: A mix of international melodies designed to lull you into a state of calm and a must for a well-rounded repertoire.
Pentatonic Haiku with Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Learn all about the five-note scale and tab reading through a charming haiku song cycle.
Let's Groove - Ukulele and UBass: Reggae, Pop, and Country with Jack & The Vox
Get funky with your uke or uBass and find your own groove.
Songwriting/Collaborations Masterclass with Jack & The Vox
For your benefit, we present two songwriting degrees from Berklee School of Music on one stage. If you've ever wanted to write, or want to expand your songwriting abilities, this class is for you!
Baritone Uke Blues - 'Life by the Drop' with Jack Maher
Bring your baritone, your bari-strung tenor, or your tenor guitar and prepare to get down!
Hawaiian Vamps with Kamaki Keawe
Much of what makes Hawaiian music sound "that way" comes from four components: Intros, Outros, Turnarounds, and the trademark licks we call Vamps. Put them in your bag of tricks and you're half-way to headlining at a beachfront resort in Waikiki!
Play Like a Beatle - A virtual workshop with Laurence Juber
The Beatles’ music is played widely throughout the ukulele community, but how would you like to sound more like the original records? Most Beatles songs used fairly simple chords, and none of the guitarists were particularly adept at fingerpicking, but they often combined unique strumming patterns with just a little picking to create their trademark sound. Laurence Juber, who has played with three of the Fab Four, including as lead guitarist for Wings, will explain some of these techniques so that you can adapt the rhythm-pick styles of John, Paul, and George to the ukulele. This will be a hosted video workshop. Attendees will receive password-protected access to online material you can continue to practice with at home.
Adding Guitar Techniques to Low G Ukulele with Michael Powers
Join jazz guitar master Michael Powers who added uke to his repertoire a decade ago for tips and tricks of the trade that will enhance your low-G playing. The intervals of a low-G tuned ukulele are identical to the highest four strings on a guitar and the pitches are identical to a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret. But the ukulele is its own instrument and requires a different approach for optimal results. This makes adding guitar techniques both natural and a bit tricky, but highly rewarding in the long run.
Advanced UBass with Perry Stauffer - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Venture far beyond the basics on four fat strings!
DGBE Baritone & Tenor Guitar with Perry Stauffer - Download Handout Bottom of Page
Bring your baritone, your bari-strung tenor, or your tenor guitar and dramatically expand your horizons!
Hawaiian Strumming Basics with Steven Espaniola
An intro to the basic strums of the Islands. Steven teaches 3 of the most widely used strumming patterns in traditional Hawaiian music: Olapa, Classic, and Modern. Traditional Hawaiian songs will be used to show the strums in a real-world context. These techniques were elaborated in an article that Steven wrote for Ukulele Magazine. Class will be taught in a fun, kani ka pila type of environment!
Hawaiian Strumming Beyond Basics with Steven Espaniola
Learn three more, slightly more complex, widely used strumming patterns in traditional Hawaiian music: Tahitian, Triplet, IZ strum. As with the Basics class, traditional Hawaiian songs will be used to show the strums in a real-world context and the class will be taught in a fun, kani ka pila type of environment!
Remember the Music with Victoria Vox Incorporating Diminished Chords, Strumming Patterns, and Minor Line Cliches to your playing and, if you sing, to your accompaniment style.
It isn’t yolk, it is sauce…a workshop to inspire your practice with Walter Bates
This is an ideal class to take before you embark on a festival of workshops! Practicing is work and work isn’t play…it’s work. But what if you could change that perspective and make practice more productive by making it less tedious? That is what this class is all about. At the end of this workshop you will be able to look back on your practice session and hopefully say “Hey, that was fun…and it didn’t even seem like work.” You will also be able to see exactly what you have accomplished! The accomplishment is the reward of a job well done. Items to be covered:
1. Getting in the right mindset
2. Setting Short term goals
3. Setting an initial time limit
4. Setting up the practice routine (will go over these in workshop…there are several substeps in this process)
5. Following the routine every time you play
6. Rewarding yourself for a job well done!
Follow these steps every time you learn something new or when you are having trouble with a given passage of music and you will be surprised how fast “work” becomes play!
Intro to Upbeat~The future of remote playing with Walter Bates
Playing together has never been more difficult than it has been over the last two years. As a band director of 30 years, I know the importance of playing regularly together, but when you are distanced from each other that becomes very difficult to do. Even in “normal” times, this can be challenging. How can you rehearse and play together when you can’t be together? Enter the new app called Upbeat. Upbeat Live is the closest thing I have seen to being able to rehearse and play together when you cannot be together. It allows players to listen to instruction, practice alongside the instruction, go into “practice rooms” to record the segment, and then hear their part combined with everyone else. The instructor refines parts, makes corrections and the process repeats itself. This is how I ran rehearsals for the last two years. I can hear you already, “But what is the reward of just practicing?” I am way ahead of you. Upbeat has another feature called Perform. It works the exact same way as Live does, but you record the entire piece instead of just a segment. The instructor sends out a backing track for everyone to play along to. The players then record along with the backing track and submit it to the instructor. This is where the magic happens. The Upbeat app then does in minutes what used to take hours and hours. It “knits” everything together into a nice mosaic video performance. The results are simply amazing.
In this class, you will learn how to sign up for the app, learn the techniques for successful recording, learn how to play along with a backing track, learn how to calibrate your recording to the backing track, and see a live demo of how the program works. The workshop will culminate with a newly created performance created by the app that we all can view.
Download Handouts* Below
*There will be no physical, printed handouts at the festival. You must download, print, and bring all handouts for workshop classes you plan to attend. Not all workshops have handouts, see the schedule. The downloads below are grouped by instructor(s). All of their classes may be in one download–just print the pages you need. For example, if you are only taking the La Vie En Rose class with Dani Joy, you only need to print out the La Vie En Rose page from the total handout. (However, you are welcome to them all!)